I have known Billy Berenholc for many years, yet it was only recently that I finally walked inside his iconic Lester’s Deli on Bernard Street in Outremont.
A few months ago Billy and I reconnected when I learned that his Mr. Smoked Meat brand was supplying Dizz’s Bagel and Deli on Côte St. Luc for them to make some pretty fine sandwiches. I promised myself that I’d go see his headquarters.
Foodies like myself sure do miss certain restaurants that have remained closed since the start of the pandemic. A case in point is Reuben’s Deli & Steakhouse (http://reubensdeli.com) on St. Catherine Street and Anton & James, which had a storefront on Stanley.
Deville reopened last summer and has an excellent take-out and delivery process in place. And while the doors to Deville have not been formally reopened, the Tzemopoulos brothers have found a clever way to bring it back. Now you can make an order via Uber Eats or takeout, with everything prepared in the Deville kitchen. Ditto for Anton & James. It is part of the RD3 Restaurant Group’s One Kitchen Concept, essentially a growing ghost kitchen that continues to add new brands.
From the moment I learned about this development, I could barely contain my excitement. I was pleasantly surprised to see practically a full menu of Reuben’s favorites available so I arranged a pickup of multiple items to enjoy over a period of several days at the office for lunch.
I arrived at 12:15 pm on a weekday at the Double D Pop Up Shop window and everything was ready and so neatly packed in a nice large bag.
There was a grilled karnatzel, with some pieces of toasted pumpernickel bread and mustard; the smoked meat mac and cheese; the roast beef melt with fries (my personal favorite of sliced roast beef served on thick grilled rye bread topped with roasted garlic mayo, sauteed onions and melted Swiss cheese); the original Reuben sandwich (a savory grilled sandwich served on thick sliced pumpernickel, piled high with a half-pound. of sliced smoked meat, melted Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and Reuben’s secret sauce); and for dessert a huge piece of Deville’s chocolate food cake (minus the ice cream), the big easy beignets and a Pepsi to wash it all down.
Now let me tell you I spread this treat over the course of four days. It is something I would highly recommend to someone who is looking for a treat, be it working from a regular office or even from home. The Reuben’s menu also includes salads, steaks, honey crunch chicken strips, salmon, ribs poutine, steak cut onion rings, fried pickles and more. Of course also have the option of making selections from Deville, which I did for dessert.
I made a return trip for Anton & James. It was interesting to note that in the ensuing weeks since my Reuben’s pickup I could see for myself how much business has grown. First off there was a social distanced lineup at the front and when I got to the front to pick up my order I could see a multitude of pickup bags being placed on tables. Good for the brothers!
Anton & James was launched as a trendy New York-styled café, with great pizzas and sandwiches.
Adam tells me that this concept will likely remain under the Deville roof, even after the pandemic is over. Once again I made an order to last me a few days, starting with ry cured pepperoni (which I opted out of) and chopped smoked meat; and the BBQ Chicken has mozzarella, roasted chicken basted in BBQ sauce and caramelized onions. I also ordered the Sweet Mac & Cheese, which made for a splendid lunch the following day and their thin and crispy French Fries. To wash it all down I had Stewart’s black cherry soda and yes, I could not resist a piece of the Deville apple pie for dessert.
Deville Dinerbar is located at 1425 Stanley Street. You can call 514-281-6556 or go directly to Uber Eats.
My brother-in-law Rich Lenkov is a Chomedey native who has practiced law in Chicago for the past two decades. When he returns home for a visit, Montreal’s iconic Schwartz’s Deli is always one of his first stops.